E-waste Statistics Lead to More Avenues for Recycling

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Electronic waste has become a sad reality of this modern age. Computers, ipods, and cellular devices are some of the most prolific material items in the world, and the waste that results from these devices has become the largest solid waste stream in the world. There are two major problems that stem from this. First, the waste is not biodegradable, and second, the waste is extremely hazardous. The majority of our waste is shipped to developing countries and health problems arise as a result of improper disposal methods within these countries. The United States is responsible for much of this, as we are one of the only remaining countries (and the only developed country) who ships it hazardous e-waste to other countries. It is time we implemented a great electronic circle of life, in which our devices are recycled and reused, rather than left in our landfills or shipped to other nations.

It begins with you. You buy the devices- millions of laptops, ipods, and iphones are sold every day in the United States. Many of these devices are rather disposable. In the last few years, the average lifespan of a laptop has shrunk to around 2 years. The average lifespan of an ipod or iphone is about the same, as the lithium batteries within the ipod or iphone usually last about 400 charges, or two years of regular use. Thus, our devices are meant to be disposable, as newer, faster devices are being produced at a more rapid rate to keep up with the rate of technology change.

The great electronic circle of life must begin sometime within this average two year lifespan of the laptop, iphone, or ipod. When one of these items breaks down, the majority of people simply dispose of the old one and buy a new one. The first step that we as consumers must take to help prevent e-waste from continuing to pollute our environment is to reuse our broken devices by buying new or refurbished parts. Many of the common problems that people run into with an iphone or ipod are simple to repair, such as a screen or battery replacement. If it is not an easy repair, there are plenty of self-help manuals online or inexpensive repair services which make it an easy process to repair one's iphone, ipod, or laptop. It is all at your Google-searching fingertips.

The second step in the electronic circle of life is to recycle the device at the end of its lifetime. If you are looking to update your device or if your device is not cost-effective to fix, the best option is to recycle the laptop computer, ipod, or cell phone. You can get cash to recycle your ipod, iphone, or laptop, even if it is broken. When you recycle your electronic devices, the parts are disposed of in an earth-friendly manner or reused in other electronic devices; thus, this completes the great electronic circle of life.

This process is simple and it needs to be implemented in our daily actions. We must view our electronics as recyclable and reusable items. Our planet is precious and we cannot continue to take it for granted by caring more for consumerism and materialism than we do for our own health and our own environment. We must reuse the parts from our electronic devices and recycle the parts we cannot reuse. So go out, spread the news and recycle your devices!

Katy Marie is a freelance writer. It's easy to fix your broken iphone at iPhone Parts Pro! or your broken laptop at Laptop Aid!

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Occupation: Freelance writer

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